Cassius Quintius Corbulo, newly commissioned officer in the oft despised branch of the Roman army, The Frumentarii, is well aware that he is ill equipped for the duty that has been thrust upon him. At the ripe old age of nineteen and with no experience in field command he is tasked with saving an outpost fort that is manned by a ragtag, veteran, under strength Century which has lost all semblance of discipline and which faces the imminent arrival of an enemy force five times their number. Against this backdrop, the author has constructed a well crafted story filled with great characters and a tension filled plot line. I found myself immersed in the character of Corbulo has he struggles with his self doubt and at times his overwhelming fears. I also found myself unable to put the book down and lost a bit of sleep because of it, but that is a good quality in any book. Well researched and written in an easy flowing style with action scenes described in a way to bring the reader into the minds of the beleaguered Romans and their adversaries. I heartily recommend this book and will be losing more sleep when I start the sequel. 5 stars.